I can’t take it anymore. I, being the responsible citizen I am, watched the final presidential debate. Or, rather, I hid under my Tardis blanket and hoped it would send me into another universe. It didn’t. I was still on my couch—being stared down by a predatory, entitled reality television cast member. And I love reality television. I feel personally invested in Khloe Kardashian’s happiness and I fantasize about running the Amazing Race. I tried to find comfort in the intelligent, experienced public servant on the other side of the screen, but it was to no avail. I felt my insides compacting with every interruption, insult, and lie.
Like most women I know, this isn’t the first time I’ve been confronted with an arrogant, condescending, and overreaching man. It happens over and over again in my life. I’m not the only one who’s felt the gut-wrenching sting of trauma-rooted anxiety when sexual assault so cavalierly became the center of this presidential conversation. I’m not the only one who knowingly winced at each one of the 55 times Hillary Clinton was interrupted during the first debate. I’m not the only one who feels the need to hide from the barrage of hate we’re experiencing. But we can’t. We have to stand up. And walk. To the polls.
From here on out, I’m going to post one reason each day that we all need to vote. That’s 20. I’m sure, if I think real hard with my little lady brain, I can come up with 20 reasons for us to get out to the polls on November 8th. This is the first.
There will be at least one appointment to the Supreme Court made by the next president—probably a few. Bill Clinton said there could be as many of four. Donald Trump said he’ll nominate five if he’s elected. This is massive.
Let’s do a little Schoolhouse Rock rundown on the Supreme Court. Justices have the job of the interpreting the Constitution, that nifty document that’s supposed to hold our country’s core. The Constitution was established back when men wore powdered wigs, so it needs a translator—or nine. Since it currently only has eight, they might be relying on Google Translator on evenings and weekends right now. Not a good look for the most powerful court in America and all the more reason to unfreeze that job listing.
Basically, SCOTUS is the highest federal court in the country, so what it says goes. A whole bunch of important rights have been granted to Americans through the court and others have been withheld, depending on its composition. It changes the country’s trajectory—for better or worse. It established an accused person’s right to an attorney, but it also allowed for the internment of Japanese Americans. It confirmed the legality of segregation and, nearly 60 years later, desegregated schools. It ruled against a woman’s right to vote and then upheld a woman’s right to (mostly) choose what’s right for her body. It denied citizenship to slaves and their descendants and, after 110 years, ruled that interracial marriage must be made legal. Just last year, the court determined that states must allow for same-sex marriage. These are big, and, make no mistake, there will be big things coming.
Justices stay on the court until they decide to peace out, so these next few appointments will impact decades of rulings. This is important stuff, guys. I’m going to vote for the candidate who supports the human rights of me, my friends, and many other lovely strangers. I’m just really into that kind of thing.